Azerbaijani ombudsman discusses returning Azerbaijanis
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 30 / Trend K.Zarbaliyeva /
Azerbaijani Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova raised the issue of returning Azerbaijani captives and hostages captured by Armenia at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Suleymanova paid a working visit to Geneva March 22-27 upon the invitation of the UNHCR, the ombudsman's press officer told Trend today.
During the visit, the ombudsman met with ICRC Eastern Europe and Central Asia Operations head Pascale Wagner.
Suleymanova asked Wagner to assist in returning home Azerbaijani captives and hostages captured by Armenia, as well as to address the request to ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger.
During the meeting, the ombudsman provided extensive information about how one-fifth of the country has been occupied as a result of Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan in 1988. Armenians massacred civilians and thousands of Azerbaijanis were taken hostage.
Suleymanova has brought to the attention of the ICRC representative that Azerbaijani soldiers Hasanov Rafig (captured Oct. 8, 2008 near the Kamarli village in Gazakh), Anar Hajiyev (captured May 10, 2009 near the Fizuli region), as well as civilian Eldar Tagiyev (captured Dec. 28, 2009 near the Alibeyli village in Tovuz) have not yet been released.
Taking into account the severe psychological state of their relatives, Suleymanova noted the need for these individual to correspond with their families.
Wagner said ICRC regional offices have visited the prisoners and hostages, and are monitoring the status and conditions of their detention. The ICRC representative promised to take into account the Azerbaijani ombudsman's request.